BSE testing programme stepped up

27 June 2001

BSE testing programme stepped up

By Fwi staff

THE UKs BSE testing programme is extended from Sunday (July 1) with the introduction of compulsory tests on fallen and casualty cattle over 30 months old.

Farmers will be legally required to report the deaths of all older fallen cattle within 24 hours, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs says.

Failure to notify within this time scale affects the accuracy of the test and will be deemed an offence under the new regulations.

Carcasses will be collected from the holding and samples will be taken for testing by the Veterinary Laboratories Agency. They will then be incinerated.

Casualty cattle, animals which are injured or sick, will also have to be tested.

Those eligible for the Over Thirty Months Scheme will be sampled under disposal arrangements for the scheme.

Casualties which do not qualify for the scheme will be treated in the same way as fallen stock.

The new requirements bring the UK into line with EU BSE testing regulations.

DEFRA animal health minister Elliot Morley said the incidence of BSE in the UK is declining with reported BSE suspects 45% down on last year.

“As this decline takes place, it becomes more important to supplement normal veterinary surveillance by active testing of high risk animals,” he said.


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